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[TR/HP] 【TRHP】[授转]For He is the Sun and I am His Shadow

发表于 2022-7-30 19:39 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 FANTASIA. 于 2022-7-30 19:42 编辑


You absolutely can, thanks for asking! Please share the link when you're done so I can include it in the beginning notes. 💕

“What you have done to young Harry,” Dumbledore’s shade intones gravely, “is deplorable even compared to the worst of your past crimes.”

Lord Voldemort raises his cup to his old nemesis in a mocking toast and winks at him before taking a sip.

The date is September 1st, 1996. Lord Voldemort is about to get everything he's ever wanted.

Chapter 1

After a few minutes, Harry carefully moves out of his crouched, gargoyle-like pose to sit criss-cross on the luggage rack instead, holding in a sigh as he resigns himself to enduring the rest of the train ride in utter boredom. He’d snuck into the Sixth Year Slytherins’ compartment under his Invisibility Cloak hoping to catch Malfoy bragging to his little sycophants about whatever he’d been up to at Borgin and Burkes a few weeks ago, not to listen to said sycophants gossip about their own summers and the Slug Club while Malfoy sat a little apart from them in silence, appearing to bloody meditate or something.

All he had said after Harry snuck in behind Zabini was, “I have been tasked with something important and need to think over final details of the plan one more time to prepare, so do be quiet, or at least as quiet as you lot can manage.” Harry felt a buzz of something like nerves then, or possibly excitement, but true to his word Malfoy seemed to retreat to somewhere inside himself while his friends shrugged off his strange behavior and moved a little further down the compartment to talk quietly amongst themselves.

Zabini had deliberately not modulated his voice much as he snidely insinuated that Draco was merely sulking about not having been invited to the Slug Club meeting, but the other boy gave no reaction and the other Slytherins quickly lost interest.

“Do you reckon it’s a task from…Him?” Goyle asks now in a poor attempt at a whisper, but Crabbe in an uncommon show of good sense just elbows him roughly in the ribs and the conversation moves on again.

Parkinson drifts away from the group back to Draco with such a starry-eyed expression that Harry wants to retch. “Whatever it is must be very important to our cause,” she says to him sweetly, “but surely you needn’t focus on it so hard now that you can’t relax a little until after the feast?”

She reaches up as if to pet Malfoy’s hair, only to yelp as the boy suddenly grabs her wrist before her fingers can make contact. Harry jumps a little too.

“Keep your hands to yourself and do not attempt to distract me again.” Malfoy’s tone is mild but with an undercurrent of something that makes eerie tingles shoot up Harry’s spine. Before he can determine what that something is, Malfoy releases her hand and turns to face the wall ahead of him again, either not noticing or not caring about the affronted and hurt look Parkinson gives him before getting back up to sit with the rest of the group again.

As they near the castle, everyone gets up to put their school robes on, Malfoy included. He is the last to leave the compartment, Harry’s heart thudding like mad in his chest as he appears for a second to look up close to where Harry sits, the corner of his mouth barely twitching in a way that looks as if he’s about to smile before he turns and walks out, carelessly leaving the sliding door open behind him.

Harry sprints back to his own compartment as soon as Malfoy’s footsteps are far enough away, hurriedly opening his trunk and tossing his own robes on over his baggy T-shirt and jeans since there is no time to change into the rest of his uniform. His friends must have gotten off the train already, so he ends up in a carriage with some wide-eyed Third and Fourth Years he judiciously ignores on the ride up to the school.

The others are already sitting at the Gryffindor table like he expects when he enters the Great Hall. Ron groans and Hermione rolls her eyes when he explains to them in an undertone where he’d gone on the train. They still don’t believe anything is really going on even after he tells them word for word what little he heard Malfoy say, convinced instead that he must have been putting on some kind of tough act to impress his friends and make them believe he knew more than he did. It stings as much as it had when they dismissed his concerns earlier in the summer as well.

He doesn’t know how to explain to them the strange, confused feelings he had experienced during the train ride, different even from the exhilaration and suspicion he felt when he’d followed Malfoy into Knockturn Alley before. He’s too embarrassed to admit to anyone that a few times he had almost felt afraid of the other boy, especially in those brief seconds they had been alone in that compartment together.

Unable to help himself, his eyes seek out the other boy at the Slytherin table, but he nearly startles at the sudden realization that Malfoy is already looking at him. Even worse, bizarrely, Malfoy smiles when they make eye contact. This smile is small but confident and perfectly at ease, and unlike any he has ever seen Malfoy give anyone before, much less himself, yet something about it is also familiar in a way that sends his heart hammering again. He forces himself to look away as the sorting starts and tries not to fidget, troublingly certain he’ll still find those eyes on him if he dares to look back again.

When he does finally dare to glance up again, soon after the feast starts, Malfoy is nowhere to be seen. Harry tells himself he’s just gotten up to go to the bathroom or something, ignoring the slight headache that’s starting to form from how tightly wound he’s been for the past hour or so, and mechanically eats, barely tasting his food and not participating in Ron’s animated debate with Ginny, Seamus, and Dean about which Quidditch teams they expect to make it to finals or Hermione’s discussion with Neville about Snape’s appointment to the Defense position. Speculation about Dumbledore’s blackened hand comes up as well, but Harry does not tell anyone he already knew about it since he joined the headmaster on his visit to Slughorn because he isn’t really listening.

A knot of tension in his shoulders loosens as they near the end of the main course and Harry chances a look again, just as Malfoy returns to his seat and grabs something small to eat with quick but elegant bites before it can all disappear to be replaced by dessert.

Oddly, it reminds Harry of how he used to eat when he first started attending Hogwarts, still not used to the idea yet that the food in front of him wouldn’t be snatched away until the designated mealtime’s end. Maybe because he knows he could still eat that fast and efficiently now if he wanted to, making it look just as casual and effortless and not like he’s trying to eat quickly to avoid undue attention on himself, a skill never forgotten no matter the number of years he’s stopped having to worry about going hungry.

Malfoy slows down now that he has as much time as everyone else to get through the final course, and Harry looks down again before anyone can ask him why he’s so fascinatedly watching the Slytherin boy delicately glide his fork into a slice of cake in front of him. He’s able to enjoy his own treacle tart a bit more now that he doesn’t feel so quietly anxious about the other boy’s whereabouts, though he still wonders what he could have been doing to be gone for so long.

As everyone turns in to their dorms for the night about half an hour later, he deliberates on what to do next. The reasonable course of action would be to go to bed like everyone else, obviously. He heads upstairs while Ron and Hermione and the Fifth Year prefects corral the younger students to their respective rooms, but does not start changing into his nightclothes yet. Now that Malfoy is out of his sight once more, his uneasiness from earlier has returned tenfold. He doesn’t care what his friends say, he knows that something peculiar is going on with him. He should tell Dumbledore in the morning, even if he has no concrete evidence to go on. At least he can say ‘I told you so’ later if the headmaster ignores him too and Harry turns out to be right.

Or, Harry muses silently to himself, he could go tell Dumbledore right now.

Before he can talk himself out of it, he’s already putting the Invisibility Cloak back on and grabbing the Marauder’s Map to hastily stuff into his pocket. More concerned with getting there quickly than with running into anybody, he doesn’t take the map back out until he’s made it most of the way to his destination already, after he spots Mrs. Norris slinking down one of the corridors ahead of him.

After checking the immediate vicinity around him, he instinctively looks at the Slytherin dormitory and frowns when he realizes that one name is notably missing. His eyes dart frantically over the rest of the map until they return to his original destination, where his feet are still carrying him as he traces the familiar route from memory. He freezes—not just his feet, but every muscle in his body, his breath, the blood in his veins.

There is a second dot in the headmaster’s office next to Dumbledore’s. The name floating above it is not Draco Malfoy.

Harry doesn’t think anymore. He just runs.

The smart thing, he will acknowledge later, would have been to run to fetch a professor, any professor. Not that it would have done any good, done anything at all other than maybe add another unnecessary casualty to the night’s tally.

The adrenaline pumping through his body now does not allow for forethought. It just takes him where he thinks he needs to be, against all logic or reason or sanity. Having not much further to go, he skids to a halt moments later in front of the gargoyle guarding Dumbledore’s office. Frantic, bordering on hysteria really if he’s honest, and a little overheated and out of breath, he doesn’t notice that the hood of his cloak has been blown back from him breaking into a dead sprint as he shouts the names of random sweets at the immovable statue.

The wall behind it slides open with the slow rumble of grinding stone, revealing the hidden staircase and a figure already standing behind it. A figure that looks like Draco Malfoy and casts a silent ‘Petrificus Totalus’ before Harry can finish getting out the “Expelliarmus!” readied on his lips.

A cushioning charm prevents Harry’s head from cracking open on the stone floor as he falls backwards, with arms stiffly plastered against his sides and a low swoop of terror in his stomach which, absurdly in this moment, brings back old guilt of the time he, Ron, and Hermione did this to Neville in their First Year, now with newfound understanding of how awful that experience must have been for him. In hindsight, it’s lucky he hadn’t been hurt, having landed on one of the plush rugs covering the floor of the Gryffindor Common Room.

The “boy” on the stairs comes to stand over him, carefully feeling out where exactly Harry’s legs are with his feet before crouching low just over his thighs, that far too pleasant smile back as he undoes the front of Harry’s cloak to reveal the rest of his body underneath.

“Well, hello again, my dear,” says Not Draco Malfoy in Draco Malfoy’s voice, only now that he’s listening for it, Harry can tell that the way he speaks is subtly off, a different manner of catching on particular sounds and emphasizing others than Draco’s usual haughty tone, all brought out in a smooth, charming drawl he has not heard since he met a very different sixteen-year-old over four years ago.

The person hovering above him now is not technically that same sixteen-year-old either though, even if they have the same name according to the map still clenched in his frozen fist—even if he sounds more like himself now, like that boy he used to be, than he has any of the other times Harry has encountered him as an adult since then. He’d sounded madder, erratic and prone to unpredictable rage, all those other times before.

Harry never thought he’d miss the high, cold, crazed snarl of Lord Voldemort just barely holding himself together for an over the top villainous monologue. He never thought he’d be more terrified of the man Tom Marvolo Riddle should have been before his insanity took over.

And he knows that this is the real Voldemort, not another weird mirage person like the diary Tom Riddle had been, and not just because he’s actually physically present either. He knows because now that they’re close and it’s perfectly obvious to him that Harry already knows who he is, the connection between their minds is thrown open again when it had been closed off and muted. He must have been actively Occluding himself all this time before so Harry wouldn’t figure him out sooner and alert someone.

“I cannot begin to tell you how overjoyed I am that you’ve spared me the effort of burning away that hideous portrait to get to you by coming to me instead. Again,” he adds with a quirked brow that is also out of place on the slick, pointy blond’s face. He brushes the back of curled fingers over the boy’s cheek. Harry would flinch away if he could. “How tempting you made it to take you right there on the train, if only I didn’t have other tasks to accomplish first.”

Gently he rests the tip of a wand—Dumbledore’s wand—against Harry’s forehead. “Confundo.” Harry shudders and blinks as he is unpetrified a moment later, unable to react properly and moving only sluggishly like he actually had hit his head as the Invisibility Cloak is eased off his shoulders and the map and his wand taken out of his hands. The boy…man…whatever smirks as he looks over the parchment. “Barty told me about this ingenious device when you lent it to him an—oh. Now this is interesting.”

He stands up quickly and pulls Harry to his feet as well, making the boy’s head swim even more in dizziness. He puts Harry’s Cloak on himself, then petrifies the boy once more and before he can fall again pulls him in close so they are standing next to the wall together, back to chest, the Cloak just barely large enough to cover them both as he wraps it around Harry as well.

The effects of the Confundus are still dissipating when someone else rounds the corner only moments later, so it takes a second for Harry to recognize Snape, striding purposefully and carrying a flask of what looks to be some kind of healing potion. “Acid Pops,” he barks at the gargoyle, disappearing up the moving staircase as soon as it is revealed to him.

“Interesting,” Voldemort says again, still sounding like Malfoy but again with that ominous undertone he’d heard when the man spurned Parkinson. “I believe we are about to find out where our double agent’s true loyalties lie, Harry darling,” he whispers right against the boy’s ear. Harry cannot shiver like he wants to. The arms around him shift, squeezing a little tighter. “Let’s see what he does when he finds what I’ve left up there.” All Harry can do is blink, which does nothing to get rid of the sudden moisture springing to his eyes.

What he does is return down the stairs less than two minutes later, the other Heads of House and three Aurors Harry recognizes as members of the Order but cannot name for the moment in tow behind him, all of them with varying expressions of alarm, horror, and grim determination on their faces.

Voldemort Stuns them all at once with a single wave of his wand. The delighted boyish giggle Harry hears a second later is unnatural to his ears even if it is still in Malfoy’s voice.

He leaves Harry leaned against the wall with a sticking charm, pulling the Cloak off and putting it over his arm like a coat, and now gazing at the wand still in his hand with something akin to childish wonder. “Do you suppose it always worked that brilliantly for him as well, or is it because of…?” He stretches his arms out a bit as if to put the wand and the cloak over his other arm on display, turning his hand a little to also show off a strange cracked ring Harry hadn’t noticed before. He wasn’t wearing it on the train or at the Welcoming Feast earlier that Harry can recall. “Ah, but you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you, darling?”

His voice is beginning to crack now, his hair darkening, and he appears to be growing taller as well as his face shifts with the telltale signs of Polyjuice wearing off. Wordlessly, he sweeps the wand over himself and Malfoy’s Hogwarts uniform changes into a longer, simpler but elegant set of dark wizard robes. Were Harry able to physically react, he might gasp in shock as Voldemort’s features settle into those of a man rather than a serpentine monster, except for his vivid red eyes.

Voldemort crooks a finger under Harry’s chin even though he is still frozen, considerately leaning down since the boy’s head cannot be tilted upwards to make eye contact. “Not what you were expecting, I imagine,” he says, his voice finally matching his mannerisms and style of speech once more—which is to say, a somewhat deeper version of the rich, relaxed drawl Harry remembers from when he was twelve. His smile on his actual, real mouth is also unfairly, distressingly roguish. “But I trust you’ll keep this between us for now, won’t you, dear?” He winks at Harry before turning away then, that devilish fucker.

With another wave of his wand and a muttered incantation, he is the dread, ghostly pale, bald and noseless Lord Voldemort that Harry remembers from last spring. McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout are all bound together with cords shot out of his wand, then Snape is bound as well but separately from the rest. The three Aurors are killed one by one without ceremony or a single twitch of emotion on the monster’s face.

Turning back to Harry now, Voldemort encases him in a shield spell he’s never seen before like a strange, shimmering soap bubble, the Petrificus finally releasing again as he also floats. Immediately Harry tries to push through it and yells at the bastard, but his voice echoes back at him in a way that makes him think he probably can’t be heard from the outside and the shield pushes back against his hands and limbs like a silky, unpoppable balloon. The unconscious Snape is also made to float, though without a shield, and the two of them trail through midair on either side of the Dark Lord as he stalks through the halls of Hogwarts with no further attempt to disguise his presence.

They arrive at the Room of Requirement, and Harry’s stomach drops again when he sees a small army of Death Eaters waiting inside amidst piles of junk and random curios scattered throughout the room. The Dark Lord ignores their scraping and bowing to make a beeline for Bellatrix Lestrange.

“Bella, you will not be joining the others in the raid after all. I have a special assignment for you.” The brief glimmer of disappointment in the madwoman’s eyes is rapidly replaced by one of obsequious idolatry from one sentence to the next. “Return to the manor and take this traitor with you down to the cellar,” he orders, passing the floating Potions Master along to her. “You are not to use Cruciatus as I need his mind intact, but feel free to play as much as you like otherwise.” The glamour also affects his voice, Harry realizes, making it high and sibilant once again.

“Harry and I will also be returning to the manor shortly,” Voldemort continues. Despite knowing it’s fruitless, Harry instinctively tries to batter his fists against the shield again upon hearing this. A few of the Death Eaters laugh at his attempts, Bellatrix the loudest and cruelest among them. “He will not be placed in the cellar, however, and to reiterate one of my previous orders, my time alone with him is not to be disturbed. Is that understood?”

The woman utters a reverent, “Yes, my Lord,” and gives him a deep bow. At a gesture from the Dark Lord, she turns around with Snape in tow and walks into a tall wardrobe, vanishing with the Potions Master into its deceptively cavernous depths.

Voldemort turns to address his other followers. “The rest of your orders are the same as before,” he tells them. “Remember, these are teachers and children. Capture and incapacitation as necessary are the only goals. Target the professors and upperclassmen first. The younger students should pose little to no threat to you and will most likely fall in line as their elders and figures of authority are brought to heel. Torture as a last resort only if you absolutely must. Kill only if you are left with no other option. Do not disappoint me.”

At another gesture, the remaining Death Eaters all bow as one and file out of the room into the school proper, intent upon wreaking havoc through its halls as their Lord commands. As the last one leaves, Voldemort drags Harry floating along into the same wardrobe Lestrange and Snape disappeared into.

They come out on the other side of another vanishing cabinet in Borgin and Burkes, the very one he ended up in on accident once a few years ago. Voldemort keeps the shield up around Harry but tugs him down into his arms to Disapparate with him moments later.

They are now in the foyer of a large, opulent mansion, giving Harry some opportunity to look around while he floats alongside the man once again as they head upstairs. There’s nothing visible to hint at where they actually are, but it’s clearly a pureblood family’s mansion, he can easily guess whose. He lets himself wonder idly if the real Draco had been one of the masked Death Eaters unleashed upon the school only minutes ago, mostly because it feels safer than thinking about what’s going to happen to him now.

He is pulled into a ridiculously large bedroom/personal sitting room from the looks of it, the type of furniture he’d expect in the former at the east end of the room and a set more suited to the latter at the west, which is the side they enter from. In the center between both is a massive circular parlor table with strange symbols etched roughly into the lacquered wood and withered black flower petals scattered over the top, candles and unusual looking crystals also arranged in a haphazard looking pattern all the way around the outer rim.

Before he does anything else, Voldemort takes Harry’s Cloak and a gaudy glittering tiara, of all things, out of an expanded inner pocket of his robes and sets these aside atop an out of the way dresser. Harry might make a joke about Voldemort’s new fashion sense if he wasn’t effectively silenced within the bubble and also more terrified than he’s ever been before in his life, even in this man’s presence. They may not teach much about dark rituals at Hogwarts, but Harry knows enough to recognize the staging of one when he sees it.

His worst suspicion is confirmed when he is made to lay in the center of the strange table setup, easily large enough for all of his limbs to sprawl akimbo across its glossy top. An unfamiliar incantation is muttered from somewhere near his head, and the candles all flare to life at once at the same time that the shield around him finally “pops” out of existence, but Harry finds himself unable to do little more than squirm in place and cannot sit up, his wrists and ankles affixed to the wood securely as if they have been tied down.

He is able to turn his head away and cringe this time when Voldemort steps into view above him, peering into Harry’s eyes upside down, and trails his fingertips in a mockingly gentle caress over the boy’s cheek again. A soft whine escapes Harry’s throat before he can stop it. The glamour is gone now and Harry bizarrely wants it back, preferring the monster which he feels is a truer representation of the twisted soul within than the handsome man gazing down upon him now.

“Wh-what the hell is this?” he asks, the first words he has been able to speak and have heard since this nightmare began, not liking the waver he hears in them either but again unable to help it.

“A correction,” Voldemort answers softly as if that explains anything. The smile he gives Harry now is hatefully kind. “One which will benefit us both, as you’ll soon find.”

Then, as he had with the Invisibility Cloak, he opens the front of Harry’s school robe and splays it open while leaving it on him, but pinches the collar of his hand-me-down shirt between a finger and thumb and with another whispered incantation unravels the whole thing, leaving Harry’s chest and stomach uncomfortably bare and exposed.

When he wordlessly summons a silver dagger into his hand, Harry starts to shake and, fuck it he can’t help it and doesn’t care that it’s humiliating anymore, also begins to cry a little.

Instead of laugh or mock him as Harry would expect, Voldemort wipes some of his tears away and shushes him in a surprisingly soothing voice. “Hush now, it’s alright. This isn’t for you. In fact the process for you should be entirely painless.”

Voldemort then punctures the pad of his own pointer finger with the tip of the blade, only a barely visible tightening around his eyes demonstrating that not only does the Dark Lord still bleed, he also can still feel pain himself.

He begins to draw patterns in his own blood that Harry can’t make out at this angle directly on the boy’s skin, occasionally digging the tip of the blade into his finger again when the flow stutters and stops being as smooth to write with.

“Would it be cruelty or kindness to explain to you what I’m actually doing, I wonder?” Lord Voldemort says, the question quiet and rhetorical. He meets the boy’s eyes again, the smirk he gives now almost playful. “An abbreviated version then,” he decides. “The secret to my immortality, Harry, lies in a series of rituals I discovered when I was about your age. To put it plainly, it involves tearing out a piece of my own soul and putting it into a new vessel.”

Before Harry can really even process the horror of what he’s hearing, Voldemort shatters him with another one. “I discovered over this summer, through means I’ll explain another day, that when I tried to kill you that Samhain night when you were a baby, I accidentally tore out another piece and made you into one of these vessels. That is why you gained some of my power and why this mental connection between us has existed ever since. It is not a mere mental connection, but a spiritual one.”

Harry sucks in a deep, shuddering breath and wishes he could claim not to comprehend what the man is saying, that he doesn’t instantly, intimately understand and know it to be true as soon as the words are put out there into the world, unable to be taken back and hidden from him ever again.

“Does that mean…” He swallows, trying not to speak too loudly as if that could ruin the peculiar, uneasy peace between them. “Are…are you trying to take it back?” The smile Voldemort gives him now is mean. He must have sounded too hopeful as he asked.

“No, my darling, I am not.” The pet names, the cute endearments Harry’s been trying not to read too deeply into all night and pretending not to hear, batter intrusively at the forefront of his thoughts now with another ominous suggestion he does not want to understand but feels his mind hurtling toward faster than he’s ready for anyway.

“For obvious reasons, this ritual was not performed that night, when my soul instinctively claimed yours for its new home.” Harry shudders again. Voldemort continues to draw on his bloody torso and ignores it. “That piece of me has been clinging onto you like a man dangling over the edge of a cliff all this time, unmoored and ever in danger of falling, especially when we are near since it recognizes me as its original host and gets….confused, let’s say, about which direction it wants to be pulled in. The purpose of this ritual, my Harry, is to anchor it in place so that it can never leave you.”

“No,” Harry breathes, trying once again to squirm to get away, or at least to buck the hand on his torso off and smear the blood around in hopes that it might disrupt whatever it’s supposed to do.

Unfortunately, Voldemort actually seems to be done with his drawing now and lifts his hand away before Harry can rub against it to mess anything up. “As I said, it benefits you too.” He licks away the remaining blood on his finger and heals it. “You’re very vulnerable at the moment. When this is done you will effectively be immortal as I am, and impervious to most methods of harm. If anything, perhaps you should be grateful I’ve decided my desire to have you outweighs any potential inconvenience to keeping you around.”

Harry squeezes his eyes shut tightly and tries not to openly sob. Gone is his Gryffindor bravery in the face of these utterly abhorrent things the man above him is saying. “You can’t.” His voice cracks. “I don’t…I don’t want any of those things! I’m not you!”

“Nor will you be,” Voldemort reassures him, as if this is what Harry has been worried about. In all honesty perhaps it should have been, given that Voldemort had tried to possess him at the Department of Mysteries not so long ago. But if anything, this seems like a worse form of possession that the Dark Lord is hinting at now. At least the other way left open the possibility of sinking into oblivion and not having to consciously live out what’s coming himself.

To confirm the worst of all of his fears, Lord Voldemort continues, “You will still retain your own personality, although you may find yourself rather more…amenable and receptive to me than you are currently, going forward.” He’s going to scream. Oh god, he’s going to be sick, and then he is going to scream, louder and harder than he ever has while under Cruciatus.

Except that when his throat tenses up to start, Voldemort puts him under a silencing charm, ultimately taking this last freedom away from him as well. His jaw drops as the feeling of it tears out of him anyway and chafes his throat raw even without any sound to pierce both of their eardrums open. Because he can’t hear it, he can’t drown out the hushed, intent chanting Voldemort has begun or the dark, subaudible hum that starts up in the crystals surrounding him but eventually feels more like it’s vibrating within him instead.

Harry thrashes about as wildly as he ever has under Cruciatus in a desperate, hopeless bid to escape, only his head kept still by long-fingered hands cradling it between them and passively catching the tears that slip out of the corners of his eyes within the lines and creases of gentle palms. It doesn’t hurt, just as Voldemort promised. Physically, it doesn’t feel like anything is happening at all.

And then, after what feels like hours but in reality is perhaps only about ten minutes, almost as soon as it began, it stops.

One second he’s thrashing, screaming, crying, and the next he gasps, the candles around him all flaring impossibly brighter in that one held breath until, on his next exhale, they flicker out all at once in a puff of fragrant smoke. Harry slumps back against the table, feeling boneless, head spinning like it had under the Confundus about an hour ago. Was it even an hour ago? So much has happened already so fast.

He feels almost like he’s floating again even though he can still feel the table pressed against his back. Long-fingered hands delicately adjust his glasses which had gone askew over his face from all his writhing and jerking about. He blinks dazedly up at the ceiling. He thinks he was upset about something being done to him, something more unforgivable than an Unforgivable, but he can’t muster the feeling back now.

Slowly he comes down from this weightless feeling, comes back into himself, becomes more aware of his body and the discomfort of his awkward sprawl across the table, more aware of fingers carding through his hair and another tracing the shape of his scar on his forehead, making him shiver.

He blinks up again, meeting the eyes of the man staring back at him. Voldemort smiles and it’s a small, confident, perfectly at ease thing, familiar as the color of his eyes and the warm drawl of his voice as he says, “Welcome back.”

Harry huffs a shy, somewhat rusty sounding laugh and responds, “Hello again.” A callback to how he was greeted earlier in the evening that makes both of their smiles get just a bit bigger.

His wrists and ankles come unstuck from the table, the crystals and candles all vanished away with the wave of a wand, and then Voldemort is helping him sit up and scoot to the edge of the table, where he dangles his feet over the side and lets them sway a little in tandem. Voldemort stands in front of him, hands braced on the table and bracketed on either side of him, almost but not quite close enough to be touching his hips.

“How are you feeling?” Harry shrugs. “Still feeling like yourself?” Voldemort clarifies, and then smirks. “Not feeling like Crucioing and/or murdering everyone who annoys you or plotting world domination?”

Harry snorts and shakes his head. Leave it to Lord Voldemort to self-deprecate about his own homicidal tendencies and still not sound even the least bit ashamed about them. Harry might actually be appalled if it were anyone else.

“And you still like Quidditch more than your classes?”

“Hey!” Harry protests, jabbing a finger at the man’s chest. “Not all of them, just some.” He rolls his bottom lip into his mouth to wet it. “Okay fine, maybe most of them, but look, not all of us can be evil geniuses plotting, as you say, world domination.” Harry might have said more, but the hands that bracketed his hips have now crept up to holding them and resting against his thighs.

Voldemort stares intently at him without any of his previous humor, eyes hooded and just waiting, it seems, for a reaction to gauge. One of his fingers strays up a little from the top of Harry’s jeans, brushing lightly along the bared skin of his side. Harry shivers, chasing the feeling.

“Could…could you, um…” He’s not sure what he’s trying to ask for actually, if he’s angling for more or angling to get away. He squirms, and crinkles his nose when the movement makes him more aware of some tightness along his skin where the tacky blood has started to dry, and soon enough if it’s left there much longer will start to flake and itch. He leans back slightly and gestures over his torso with one hand. “Could you do something about this? It’s, uh, starting to feel kind of gross,” he says, punctuating the statement with a sheepish laugh, inviting the older man to laugh along with him at his awkwardness.

Voldemort does not laugh or change expression at all, still looking at him intently as one hand slowly drifts up over the boy’s stomach and up to his chest, with a muttered Scourgify vanishing away the blood as it goes. The hand does not leave when its job is done, remaining splayed out there over the center of his chest. The edge of his thumbnail scrapes gently over a sensitive patch of skin just below Harry’s nipple.

Harry sucks in a shaky breath, which appears to be the kind of signal the man has been waiting for. Leaning forward, he doesn’t wait for any kind of spoken permission before putting his mouth on Harry’s, nipping at the boy’s bottom lip and taking advantage of the ensuing gasp to slip his tongue inside. The kiss tastes faintly like blood and chocolate. Harry wonders if that means his own mouth tastes a little like treacle tart to Lord Voldemort.

The hand on his chest glides over to his side, deliberately skating over his other nipple and tweaking it lightly as it goes to elicit another full body shudder. The other hand squeezes his thigh and pulls suggestively outward, an unspoken suggestion to part his legs which Harry obeys, groaning into the kiss when the man presses his own hips forward into the space that has been made for him.

Harry’s fingers curl around the table’s edge, unsure of where else to go as the kiss deepens. His hips push upward to meet the other man’s and the hands on him suddenly grip tighter.

Breathing a little less steadily than before against Harry’s mouth, Voldemort pushes Harry’s robe back to hang off of one of his shoulders, his lips following in a biting trail of kisses soon afterwards, down the boy’s neck and over his exposed shoulder. Harry’s hands fly up to the man’s sides and hold on for dear life as he’s tugged closer by the other arm snaking around his back, a hand trailing goosebumps along his skin and feeling out the knobs of his spine.

His mouth is taken by the older man’s again, hard, almost too rough. His robe is pushed the rest of the way off so Harry is left sitting there only half-dressed, panting, both aroused and nervous about the hardness he feels grinding against his own, knowing where this is leading if they don’t slow down or take a breath.

“I-I’ve never…” he manages when his mouth is freed from another wrenching kiss so Voldemort can suck vivid red marks over his collarbone before moving up to the hollow of his throat. The sound that comes out of Harry then is high-pitched and sounds almost pained. He can’t speak again until that greedy mouth finds a new target, latching tongue and teeth over the other collarbone now.

“I don’t know if I’m ready for—” Voldemort stops immediately to grip the hair at the back of his head, blood-crimson eyes too close as they look into his own.

“You are,” he says darkly, voice roughened, also breathing heavily. Harry’s glad at least that he’s not the only one so obviously affected by what they’re doing.

“O-okay.” Voldemort rewards this answer—not that it was a question—with another deeply consuming kiss which, despite the ritual he finished only minutes ago, feels very much like he’s trying to suck his soul back as well as Harry’s like a bloody dementor would.

He pulls at Harry’s legs in a way that clearly conveys the boy is meant to wrap them around his waist. Only when Harry does so does he break away from the kiss and lift the boy up, then carry him over to the bed. Harry bounces a little when he is dropped onto the mattress, giggling out of giddiness and nerves.

“Take off the rest of your clothes.” Voldemort is still watching him with an intense gaze, already working on the buttons at the collar of his own robes.

Harry kicks his shoes off before shimmying out of everything else, carefully not looking up or dwelling on his own self-consciousness.

The hand returns to his chest, pushing him to lie back. Harry’s breath catches again as a nude Dark Lord climbs into bed with him and settles in between his spread thighs, kissing him again and unhesitating in his touches as appreciative hands trail over newly bared skin. Harry is honestly too overwhelmed to do much beyond lie there and take it as he is eagerly caressed and groped and tasted, but the older man seems not to mind the lack of immediate reciprocation, content enough for now with Harry’s passivity and acceptance.

His glasses come off at some point as well to be put away on a side table. The rest of the world around them blurs and Lord Voldemort becomes his only point of focus, the only thing he can clearly see. As it should be, he suspects the older man would say if Harry were to mention this out loud, though he must know it anyway since the satisfaction thrumming between them through their anchored bond seems to shiver happily and grow.

Oil-slicked fingers eventually slip down below and spread apart his cheeks, and Harry keens the first time one of them rubs insistent pressure against his furled hole. He hadn’t even noticed the man summoning a bottle or anything, not that it matters as the tip of a finger dips inside, spinning the rest of his thoughts away into immaterial sparks of light.

After only a little prep time with two digits, hardly enough for Harry to get used to the sensation and decide whether he likes it or not, the Dark Lord abruptly pulls them out and adjusts his and Harry’s positions on the bed so that he is sitting up with his back against the soft pillowed headboard and the boy is straddling his lap.

As Voldemort merely sits there and watches him expectantly, Harry realizes that he is no longer being granted reprieve to passively lie still and let everything happen to him. He is expected to participate after all in his own deflowering. Harry licks his bottom lip and swallows.

Heart thudding, Harry places his hands on the man’s broad shoulders and lifts himself up. The Dark Lord ever so helpfully wraps his fingers around the base of his own dick to hold it in place so all Harry need to do is lower himself onto it without trying to awkwardly reach around and keep it steady himself.

Harry whimpers as he lets gravity do the work and the tip slowly starts to sink in, the stretch of his rim burning a little and bringing a dark flush to his face that Voldemort’s eyes drink in greedily. He instinctively tenses and pulls back up a couple of times, but the Dark Lord doesn’t chastise or lose any patience with him. He actually seems to enjoy the accidental tease as he continues to watch Harry through hooded eyes, licking his lips, and his own cheeks turn a little pink as well.

Harry is strangely captivated by it, this evidence that even as he keeps himself still for now, his lover is by no means an impassive or unmotivated participant. It makes it easier for Harry to let himself sink a little lower, both of them hissing as the tip finally pops fully past the tight ring of muscle.

As he sinks further down and his lover’s cock steadily fills him, Harry’s mouth drops open on an awed moan. Voldemort’s free hand drifts upward over Harry’s chest once again, the other hand letting go of himself to grope Harry’s arse cheek, fingers digging in enough to make divots in the plump flesh there and pull down to help him finish his descent faster.

As soon as he’s fully sheathed inside, the hand on Harry’s chest drifts up further over his shoulder and to the back of his neck, pulling his head down for another long kiss. As their lips part, Voldemort whispers against his mouth in Parseltongue, “Good boy.”

Harry’s reaction appears to surprise both of them. He whines, lifts himself up until just the tip of the man’s cock is still sheathed inside, then drops all the way down again far more rapidly than the first time. Both of them groan aloud as Lord Voldemort bottoms out in him again. It feels so amazing that he immediately does it again. And again.

As Harry starts riding his dick much more enthusiastically than either of them expected at first, Voldemort latches teeth and tongue over his neck again and sucks another livid mark there. Then another on his shoulder. Down lower, over his chest, letting his teeth tug gently at one of Harry’s nipples as he passes. Harry is going to be littered in bruises and bites by the time they’re finished tonight. The realization makes him moan again and clench harder around the cock buried inside him.

Eventually he has to slow down to catch his breath, so Voldemort takes control again. He tips Harry backward without pulling out, knelt over him again as he keeps pounding into the smaller body beneath him without pause.

“My Harry, my soul,” he breathes against the younger man’s ear. With a choked off cry, Harry comes, the Dark Lord tumbling after him into his own orgasm soon after.

He doesn’t pull out until he’s gone too soft to stay buried within him anymore, their joined breathing no longer ragged and labored by that point. Another Scourgify, now tired sounding, gets rid of most of the mess a few minutes later.

Lord Voldemort, victorious, tucks the Boy Who Lived into bed beside him, holding and keeping him close.

Chapter 2

Voldemort waits patiently as the traitor is brought out and thrown down onto the long white table in the Malfoys’ formal dining room. The boy beside him flinches as the unconscious man’s head thunks against the marble.

So sweet and sensitive, his Harry. On anyone else it would be cloying and tiresome, but his little horcrux wears sentimentality like a courtesan wears lace and fine silks, beautiful and enticing, though in Harry’s case the effect is neither artful nor deliberate.

Voldemort skims the back of his fingers soothingly down the boy’s side. Harry relaxes a little but not completely. That’s just as well. Today is not about Harry’s comfort, but about a spy’s punishment.

At a nod from him, one of the prisoner’s guards steps forward and draws his wand on the prone figure slumped on the table. “Ennervate.”

Severus wakes with more of a groan than a gasp. Days of torture, even if there is one spell which has not been used on him per the Dark Lord’s orders, have not been kind to him. He is severely battered and his limbs shake a bit as he prostrates himself into a low bow, hands splayed out in front of him and forehead touching the table, as if he believes that embodying the role of the unwavering loyal servant now can still save him. Lord Voldemort will disabuse him of that notion in short order.

“You must be wondering how it came to this, Severus,” he begins in the high, sibilant intonations of his glamoured voice. “When you had been so careful for so long to keep up the charade. ‘How did my cover come unraveled so quickly?’ you’ve been asking yourself day after day in your cell, I’m sure. ‘Where did it all go wrong?’”

There are several titters and quiet cackles from the Death Eaters seated at either side of the table. There are also a few individuals who remain silent but look a bit wan and green, most notably their gracious hosts, the Malfoys. He allows himself a small ruthless grin in his terrible serpentine form for the benefit of his other followers, but it is these timorous ones whom today’s proceedings are truly for, the ones he suspects would be most likely to turn their backs on him at the faintest stirring of ill winds. Let them see what happens to those who prove themselves faithless and false to Lord Voldemort.

“Perhaps you will take some comfort in the answer. It was nothing more than your own bad luck, I’m afraid.” Here, there is more scattered laughter before his followers wisely quieten themselves down. “Had you been perhaps a minute slower in your arrival outside the headmaster’s office, the boy and I would have already been long gone, on our way to rendezvous with your former peers, and would not have been present to witness your treachery firsthand.”

At his mention of Harry, the man on the table stirs and lifts his head to look up at his former master at last. For the first time he sees the Dark Lord’s newly transfigured throne, elongated now to make room for the figure sitting beside him. As a test, he puts his arm around Harry and curls his hand over the boy’s shoulder, showing off the Gaunt family ring he now wears.

He sees the spy’s eyes widen ever so slightly in recognition, a subtle tell made more obvious by constant torture and sleepless nights. He also sees the moment  Snape realizes that continuing to feign ignorance or innocence will gain him nothing. The man sits up fully into a proud, straight-backed kneel, almost impressive for one who has endured as much torment recently as he, all trace of subservience in his face and posture gone.

“Then you know,” he says finally. Snape’s gaze flickers from the ring up to Harry’s face.

He knows that the expression Harry wears now is guilty and sorrowful, and all the more enchanting for it. Voldemort cannot turn his head to look at it directly in front of his followers, lest they notice him staring for too long. His boy’s new place at his side is something they are still learning to get used to, most of them for the moment believing him a trophy the Dark Lord wishes to show off, which is technically not incorrect even if it does not paint the whole picture either.

Snape looks. Voldemort wishes to tear out the traitor's eyes for this stolen privilege.

The former spy’s stoic mask slips, just barely, but enough for Voldemort to recognize despair and horror in his dark beetle-like eyes. Voldemort understands what this look means instantly. He has not just looked at Harry’s face but into his mind. How dare he! The gall of this deceiver.

“Crucio!” Several of his followers crow and jeer as their former comrade writhes and twitches, although he bites his lip to bleeding, apparently too proud to scream. Harry jumps in his seat. Voldemort squeezes his arm lightly and pets there, which does little to actually soothe his boy under these circumstances, but it keeps him pliant and still.

There are few true masters of Legilimency apart from himself left, one already departed from this world on the night he reclaimed his ring and took the Elder Wand and another soon to leave it as well once he has tired of this tribunal, but he will soon take it upon himself to correctly teach Harry the skill of Occlumency anyway so he is not dishonored this way again and their secrets are kept safe.

He releases the spell a minute later. Severus lies there curled up, panting and too weakened now to move, much less get up again, but he still manages to twist his head so he can give Lord Voldemort the blackest and most hateful look that perhaps anyone has ever seen on him.

“You…” he croaks, spitting out a gob of blood onto the pristine marble table. “You…despicable…utterly depraved monster.”

There is a hushed silence from his followers, who clearly never expected to hear one of their own direct an open insult to their Lord, turncoat or no. Even Bellatrix is too stunned to screech about it as she would had it come from another member of Dumbledore’s Order. All eyes flicker to their Lord to see how he will react.

Lord Voldemort’s expression is unmoved. “Nagini,” he calls.

“Yessss, my Massster?”

He gestures simply at the wizard sprawled out in front of them. “Dig in.” Harry shudders beside him.

“Finally,” she says appreciatively. His Death Eaters try not to react and keep themselves still as his familiar slithers out from the dark corner she had been coiled and resting in and glides up onto the table. Even Snape, for all his current bravado, clenches his hands and shuts his eyes to the fate that awaits him.

No one looks away though none of them, not even his most degenerate and hardened followers, are inured to the sight. They all know better. To show a weak stomach now would be to incur their Lord’s wrath.

This rule, like many others, does not apply to his Harry. “You needn’t watch this, my soul,” he tells him as the snake approaches her prey, intending to start at his feet. “Better to look at me instead.”

The boy initially seems conflicted, perhaps thinking it a point of pride or honor not to look away, but as the great snake unhinges her jaw, he makes his decision and quickly turns his head to gaze up at the Dark Lord’s face in profile instead, lovely green eyes shining and wet.

There is no disguising the traitor’s pained whimpering or the sound of crushing and swallowing without a silencing charm, however, which the Dark Lord refuses to cast since the point is more effectively hammered home to his followers this way. Before long, Harry is clutching the front of Voldemort’s robes and burying his face in them, breathing too fast and loud. Voldemort runs a hand down the boy’s spine to gentle him.

This is the last thing Severus Snape ever sees, and Lord Voldemort does not begrudge him for looking this time. No, he smiles, knowing how vividly it illustrates the former spy’s defeat—Lily Potter’s son, weeping for him but clinging to his mother’s killer for comfort which only he can provide.

Harry is still quiet, subdued, and subtly shaking when it’s done and they return to their private chambers afterward, eyes red-rimmed and expression haunted. Completely breathtaking. Voldemort wastes no time in sweeping his beloved up into a kiss that immediately leaves him aching to be inside of him again. So that is exactly what he does, strips the barriers between them away and presses his boy down into the mattress, fingers him until his hole is just wet and loose enough to make it comfortable for both of them, and then slides back into him in one long, smooth thrust.

His boy moans so wantonly as he is taken for the second time that morning, as he does every time Lord Voldemort takes him, so pretty and perfect and his, his, his. Has there ever been anything more glorious than Harry Potter, biting his own lip puffy and pink, writhing underneath him, squeezing his tight little body around Voldemort’s cock and looking up at him like he is the center of his world, the center of everything? No, nothing else compares.

Harry comes on his cock untouched just like he did that first time, wonderful, flawless creature that he is, and Voldemort continues to fuck him through it and beyond. Those gorgeous tears come back but these belong solely to him, just as they should, his beautiful Harry quivering and crying in overstimulation beneath him.

Voldemort drinks them in with his eyes, and then literally as he kisses them away, shushing and soothing him with soft caresses while he speeds up his thrusts, slamming into his beloved with less precision but greater force as he nears his own orgasm. The sound it makes when their flesh meets again and again in one hard, sweat-drenched slap after another is delightfully obscene. Harry’s fingernails are vicious claws in his back but his legs are still wound tightly around his waist, no matter how much he whimpers and squirms now in Voldemort’s arms.

The older man finally comes with his teeth clamped over the boy’s shoulder, hard enough to bruise without breaking the skin, another lovely purpling mark to add to the growing collection. He will, of course, heal away anything that causes too much discomfort, but so far Harry has yet to complain.

There are a few other matters to attend to after a brief shower together, but none that Harry need be present for this time. He had wanted to make a point to Severus Snape, to make sure he knew before he died just how thoroughly he had failed and let down everyone he ever swore himself to.

Harry remains in their quarters while he is dealing with other affairs, so he makes it a point in these early days to be fast and efficient and delegates what he can, so his human horcrux is never left bored and lonely for long. Once his own estate is finished being built, Harry will have more freedom to roam the grounds and occupy himself with his own hobbies. Voldemort may even eventually allow him to have visitors, with careful monitoring and thorough precautions put in place, of course.

Installing his regime and laying the foundation for his new empire runs smoothly. Resistance is quashed quickly, not that many even try, given that several of the most influential members of society have family and heirs essentially kept hostage within Hogwarts’ walls for the duration of the school year. There are many changes there he intends to implement as well over time.

His one regret in all of this is that, in order to maintain his advantage with the element of surprise, there had been no opportunity to exult in his victory over Albus Dumbledore, may he rot. Believing his nighttime office visitor to be a student, even a known Death Eater’s son, he did not have his wand readied when he graciously called, “Enter,” to the polite knock on his door that evening, his last mistake which quite literally carried him to his grave.

Voldemort had fired the curse with his other hand still on the doorknob, not wanting to allow the old goat even a single moment to realize what was happening and rally himself to a fair duel. Voldemort was not interested in fairness and had a schedule to keep, and most importantly a very precious final package to collect before any reinforcements could show up and think to spirit him away to safety.

The old bastard died never knowing who had actually landed the blow, and while there is a certain sense of satisfaction to that, it is not quite how he had once imagined their final encounter would go back when he was a young man with daydreams of glory and revenge.

It finally occurs to him one morning, however, after more research into certain particular assets he also acquired that night, that perhaps he can in fact have his cake and eat it too.

After he gets up and puts on a pair of sleep pants to cover his nudity, he puts a ward around the bed to block sound from entering so as not to disturb Harry’s rest, then calls upon a house elf to bring him a Turkish coffee. While he waits for the elf’s return, he also dons the Peverell Cloak, leaving it open at the front like a casual house robe, if a rather decadent and regal velveteen-like one, and wills it not to turn invisible while he has it on.

Harry had been noticeably impressed the first time he tested out this little trick, leading Voldemort to suspect it might be a feature which is only unlocked when one is in possession of all three hallows at once, much like the immense power of the Elder Wand which only reached its full potential for the first time when he used it while also wearing the cloak and the ring. The elder he tucks into an inner pocket of the cloak alongside his own yew wand, and the ring he has not taken off since he first reclaimed it from Dumbledore’s thieving grasp.

Voldemort leans back comfortably in a wingback chair in the sitting area, his coffee appearing on the table next to it shortly after, still billowing steam. Looking expectantly at the empty space in front of him, he turns the Resurrection Stone three times on his finger.

Albus Dumbledore stands before him as if he has always been there, his robes unexpectedly grey rather than garish; actually, he looks on the whole rather washed out and devoid of color, but otherwise solid instead of translucent like a ghost as he might have expected. His face is remarkably expressionless.

“Good morning, Albus,” he greets his once most despised teacher pleasantly.

“Tom.” Even his voice is without inflection.  For once it does not rankle to be addressed by his old name. He can be gracious enough to overlook lapsed manners from the dead. The shade says nothing else, nor does his face change. Voldemort wonders if this is an effect of being dead, of being summoned by the Stone, or simply the old goat hoping to rile him by appearing unriled himself.

“I find myself curious to know whether you are aware of what has transpired here since you perished.”

“I am,” Dumbledore answers simply.

“Then you also know it was I who killed you and not Lucius’ poncy little get?”

“Yes.” There is a lull in which Voldemort begins to suspect Dumbledore cannot give more than basic monosyllabic responses to direct questions and prompts when he abruptly continues. “Is that why you’ve summoned me back here, Tom? To gloat?”

Voldemort gives him a sly little grin. “Actually, it’s to thank you.” He glances down at the ring on his finger. “Quite a remarkable tool for something so small, isn’t it? Though for a handful of decades, it once served a dual purpose.”

“Yes, I know how you befouled it with dark magic, Tom. I used to wonder if it was arrogance or ignorance that led you to taint one of the Deathly Hallows with your own broken soul, but I confess I am no longer interested in hearing the answer now.”

“I suppose it wouldn’t matter to you once you unmade what made it into a horcrux in the first place.” He tilts his head, watching the shade carefully. “Do you understand the significance of my choice in words here, Albus? Unmade, not destroyed.” The shade does not answer, stubbornly silent, so he continues.

“The diary, I was displeased when I learned of its destruction, but I would never have known what happened to it had I not inquired Lucius about it. That part of my soul is gone, vanished into nothingness I suppose,” he speculates, not as angry about it as he had once been but not happy to consider it either. “The ring, however…now that’s an interesting little conundrum, isn’t it?” he muses, petting the stone idly with one finger. “How does one destroy what supposedly Death Itself created and granted to mortals in Its unknowable wisdom? Apparently, you can’t. Yet the same method which destroys a horcrux must have released the piece of my soul it once held.”

He pauses significantly to meet the shade’s eyes with another slow smile. “Released it and returned it to me, Albus, which provided a much needed boost to my mental clarity and even,” he makes a casual sweeping gesture over his own body, calling attention to his changed appearance. “My physical vitality, interestingly enough. Did you know that would happen?”

Though his expression is still stony, the shade appears to swallow, a curious affectation for one who truthfully no longer has a throat. “I did not,” Dumbledore admits. “I would have waited, left it for last, if I had known.”

“Left it for last,” Voldemort repeats. “Even after Harry?” he asks, his tone airy but with a thread of hard ice running through it.

They both turn their heads to the sleeping boy still burrowed under the covers at the other end of the room. He smiles fondly but with a tightness to his chest. To think that a simple change to the order of Dumbledore’s little horcrux hunt could have meant he would never have had this…

“You guess true,” the late headmaster answers. “Though it would have broken my heart.” Voldemort snorts and turns back to face him. The look on Dumbledore’s face now is one of noble tragedy as he has so often worn while lamenting his own supposedly necessary but “difficult” choices, the most emotion he has shown since Lord Voldemort summoned him.

“Yes, Tom, I knew since I learned what he was, what you made him, that he would have to die. Yes, the thought of it pained me, and yes, I knew it was cruel. To place that burden upon him. To do so without ever telling him the full truth. I am full of many regrets, you see.” The shade smiles sadly down at his former pupil. “And yet,” he continues, “it was the least cruel of every possible alternative solution I found in all of my research. Isn’t that horrible?” Now his smile goes grim.

“I looked at the prophesy in his mind, you know,” Voldemort informs him quietly. “It’s curious, the wording is a bit tricky, but while it says that he is the only one who could ever defeat me and I him, it does not predict with any certainty that either of us will. In fact, I think my ‘alternative solution’ rather neatly precludes it from ever happening,” he points out now, a bit smug.

“Perhaps, perhaps not. I fear you may be right, Tom, but I am no Seer even in death. Your ‘solution,’ however, has to be the cruelest of them all, I think. You have proven to me that there is no depth you will not sink to in your quest to tear apart your own soul and keep it forever asunder.”

Voldemort picks up the cup of coffee at his side, nearly forgotten, but sufficiently cooled by now while still being warm enough to drink.

“What you have done to young Harry,” Dumbledore’s shade intones gravely, “is deplorable even compared to the worst of your past crimes.”

Lord Voldemort raises his cup to his old nemesis in a mocking toast and winks at him before taking a sip.

The self-righteous old git is apparently not done yet. “In your infinite selfishness, Tom Riddle, you have condemned not only yourself but the kindest boy I have ever known to a cursed life. To eternally living only half of a life.”

Voldemort rolls his eyes. “Talking to you is getting tedious, though that’s nothing really new, now is it?” He smirks, thinking of how much more animated and agitated the old man seems now compared to when the conversation started. Wasn’t he the one always banging on to anybody who would listen about the “peace of moving on” to the other side of the veil? Perhaps this whole “Master of Death” business could prove not only useful to him but fun. “We’ll chat again some other time,” he promises, then turns the ring counterclockwise to dismiss the shade back to whence he came.

Perhaps in a few years, after his reign has achieved some more milestones the old bastard would hate, he’ll summon him again. He won’t be calling upon him frequently though. He has far better company to spend eternity with after all.

After draining the rest of the cup, he strips bare again and slips back into bed with his Harry. The boy does not wake as he hovers over him and trails kisses down his front, nor when he takes the cock already curled at half-mast into his mouth and gently sucks it to full hardness. He trails even lower, over his taint, before lapping at the entrance he knows intimately well by now and dipping his tongue inside.

Harry’s breathing changes and there’s a light flush now on his face and spreading down his torso, but he still has not quite reached true wakefulness yet. Voldemort turns him onto his side so he can slip in behind him, then takes himself in hand and rubs his tip against that fluttering pink hole, teasing himself with every catch against the boy’s rim until he is leaking enough pre-ejaculate to easily push inside. His hand squeezes Harry’s hip and pulls him backward while his own hips push forward until they’re pressed flush against the boy’s arse.

By now the lovely young thing in his arms finally begins to stir in earnest. Voldemort takes the boy’s cock in hand and starts to leisurely pump it in time with his own lazy rocking into him. Their lovemaking is languid and indolent this morning, more about maintaining closeness than achieving climax for the time being.

Harry throws his arm back and reaches to grab Voldemort’s hair, twisting his own head around to meet him in a softly sighed kiss.

There is nothing particularly urgent this morning to pull the Dark Lord away from bed again for some time yet, so he is able to savor this for as long as he wants—Harry shuddering sweetly in his arms, rocking back against his hips and into his hand. But eventually, because his lover is a little minx of a teenager who is not practiced in the art of putting off gratification in favor of extending pleasure, this rocking backwards grows into more insistent grinding and a smaller hand wraps around his own and squeezes in a tacit plea to jerk him with more pressure and speed.

He could either indulge this or insist on keeping the same pace, start teaching the boy some patience now. Decisions, decisions.

As if he can tell exactly what Lord Voldemort is thinking—and on an unconscious, completely nonverbal level, this is likely true—Harry whines low in his throat, throwing his hips back with more force and squeezing his hand harder. Perhaps it’s not just patience that needs to be taught. His boy could use a lesson in the pleasure that can be wrought from punishment as well.

Harry twists around in his arms enough to look back at him again with wide guileless eyes and undoes his plans—or rather delays them, more accurately—with naught but a whispered word. “Please.”

Voldemort actually gasps aloud as he instinctively rams his hips forward. Oh, oh, so that’s how it’s going to be. He suddenly has a much better appreciation for how his darling reacts when he occasionally slips in a word or two of Parseltongue during sex. But while he’s known for years that Harry is also a Parselmouth, this is the first time he’s actually heard him speak the language of serpents in his presence that he can recall. That he would choose to utilize it now of all times, and that he would make it that word—that sort of Slytherin deviousness deserves its own punishment and reward.

He wants faster and harder now? Then that’s what he gets.

Voldemort rolls him onto his stomach but lifts his hips high in the air. One hand continues to hold him up, digging crescents into the boy’s skin with his nails, while the other takes hold of his cock again with almost too much roughness. Without giving him a moment to adjust to the new position then or catch his breath, Voldemort slams back into him and starts taking him much more brutally than he has done previously.

Harry wails into the pillow beneath him and clenches his fists into the blankets. Voldemort is not exactly quiet himself either, grunting and groaning hoarsely and letting his eyes roll back in his head as he buries his cock in hard and deep at a punishing pace that soon makes his thighs burn from the effort. Merlin, the madness this boy drives him to even with more of his soul and his mind intact within his own body than there has been in decades.

Neither of them last for long like this. They soon collapse together into a sweaty boneless heap, unmoving for several minutes afterward. Only Harry eventually letting go of the bedsheets to twine his fingers with Voldemort’s instead lets him know that the boy hasn’t passed out underneath him. He’s been debating the merits of letting himself go straight back to sleep himself.

Gently he kisses the back of the boy’s sweaty neck and lifts himself up, offering his hand once he’s standing to also help Harry up. The quiver in those slim athletic legs is extremely gratifying to see. He sincerely doubts Harry will be able to walk without a slight limp for at least the rest of today.

A Scourgify would be pointless when it’s obvious that an extra long, hot shower is called for in this case. Harry clings to him under the water’s spray like he doesn’t trust in his ability to hold up his own weight, not that Voldemort is complaining. This much wet, naked Harry plastered against him, even if he doesn’t think he could go for another round again too soon, is a pleasure he would never turn down even if it does make it a bit more difficult to make sure they both get thoroughly clean.

Coaxing Harry to sit in his lap at the breakfast table afterwards is easy. They always take breakfast in their personal quarters, but may have lunch out in the gardens and dinner at the Malfoys’ table if he’s in the mood to tolerate their company that evening. Harry seems also not to mind being around them as much as his other Death Eaters, possibly because he has met the couple before outside of that capacity more often than any of the others, even if those occasions were also not under the friendliest of circumstances, allowing him to compartmentalize them in his head as a former classmate’s parents more than anything else. Their heir has already returned to Hogwarts where he will remain for the rest of the term.

Harry blushes for some reason when Voldemort taps at the table’s surface three times and breakfast appears there moments later. “Just remembering suddenly that we aren’t the only people here,” he explains off Voldemort’s inquiring look. “You don’t suppose anybody heard us, do you?”

“Of course not, darling. The room is warded against any sound getting out.” As if he would ever allow anyone else to hear his lover’s heavenly voice at the heights of ecstasy. He would personally put hot needles through the eardrums of anybody who dared.

Harry spreads jam onto a muffin before biting into it while Voldemort stirs sugar into his second cup of coffee for the day. This is one of those pleasant benefits to his conquest of wizarding Britain that his more deranged self of only a few months ago could never have dreamed of. That he would be sitting here, enjoying the domesticity of watching someone else eat. Not that this is a mere “someone else,” of course. This is Harry Potter, the human bearer of his soul.

Taking the boy and keeping him, rather than locking him up somewhere or even killing him—he has other horcruxes after all—had been a calculated risk. It is still a risk. Even dead, Dumbledore has many allies left who would gladly steal Harry back if the opportunity ever presents itself. He does not intend on giving them that opportunity.

“Am I ever going back to school?” Harry asks quietly, once again appearing, in that uncanny way their anchored bond has, to sense the slant of Voldemort’s thoughts if not the words.

“No, my soul,” he answers bluntly, not one to sugarcoat things. Nor does he think Harry would appreciate it if he tried. Disappointed yet resigned acceptance settles on his features with this answer. “I need to keep you near. From now on, you’ll receive your tutoring from me.”

Hesitance creeps over Harry’s face now. Voldemort raises a brow in silent prompting for him to speak his mind. “I don’t…I don’t want to learn any dark magic,” he confesses to the older man.

Good, Lord Voldemort thinks. I don’t want you to learn any either. It is unreasonable, of course, to believe Harry will maintain his perfect, naive innocence forever, impossible when he will be spending eternity at the Dark Lord’s side. But he finds that he rather likes Harry just as he is and would also prefer that he hold onto as much of it as he can.

It’s not really a kindness. In all honesty, Harry would probably benefit in the long run from a bit of “toughening up,” but then he would cease to give him those lovely sighs and tears that Voldemort so relishes, both causing them and kissing them away.

“We’ll revisit what a more advanced curriculum for you would entail another day. For now, you need only be concerned with passing your NEWTs.” Voldemort kisses him. His mouth tastes like buttered bread and strawberries.

He kisses him again, dispelling the last of that melancholy in his beloved’s eyes with a dreamy sort of contentment. This is why it was worth the risk, why he is glad he took the chance and why he will crush anyone who tries to take this boy back from him.

This boy, this boy who is light, who is magic, smiling up now like the sun at him, at Lord Voldemort, like he hung the very stars in the night sky itself.

It was worth it. It was and is worth everything.
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